Food: Commissioner urges farmers, others to use water judiciously

The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, has urged farmers, food processors and marketers in the agricultural value chain to use water judiciously.

Olusanya made the call during a road walk organised by the Lagos State Government as part of activities to commemorate the 2023 World Food Day.

The theme for 2023 celebration is: “Water is Life, Water is Food, Leave No One Behind”.

The World Food Day is an annual celebration by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations held on Oct.16, to encourage action on food insecurity.

The commissioner said that water was becoming scare due to various environmental and human activities, noting that all hands should be on deck to reverse the trend.

According to her, without water there will be no life, no food and obviously if there is no food, there will be a problem.

”This year’s theme: “Water is Life, Water is Food, Leave No One Behind, speak of the resources that we require in the agricultural space, by our farmers and stakeholders and particularly that water is becoming a scares resource .

”It is, therefore, a privilege as a ministry to be part of the story about how water utilisation can be done in a way that you can utilise the same water for different purposes through recycling.

“I just want to implore everyone here, be you a farmer, processor and marketer in any part of the value chain you participate in to use water judiciously.

“Without water there is no life, without water there will be no food and obviously, if there is no food, there will be a problem which is why we should leave no one behind,” she said.

The commissioner thanked Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who had been able to push agriculture to the next level in the state.

“I want to believe that we will be doing so much more in the next three and half years in changing the narrative around the sector in Lagos, the country and across the West African belt,” she said.

Olusanya urged the public to join the farmers on Oct. 16, to celebrate the grand finale and purchase farm produce at affordable prices.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, I want to say a big thank you to everyone that turn-up for this walk, I want to believe it was very refreshing.

“Tomorrow, we will be having our farmers’ forum and the grand finale on Oct. 16 at the Police College, Ikeja.

“I want you all to turn-up enmasse as farmers from the 20 local government and 37 local council development areas will display their produce, catch and everything they do.

“It is an opportunity to buy food directly from the farmers at good quality and affordable prices and to generally see and appreciate them for all they do,” she said.

Mrs Odiri Erewa-Meggison, Board Director, British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation, urged the public to be conscious of how they use water to have a sustainable environment.

Erewa-Meggison said the British American Tobacco was very passionate about giving back to the community in which they operate and more particularly, in forming collaboration with state governments, especially Lagos.

”We have collaborated with Lagos State for five years consistently, we have been able to impact about 2,000 farmers and 5,000 shoppers.

“We are celebrating 20 years of the foundation and this foundation is giving back to the community.

“We have impacted so many lives and have planted over 500,000 trees on over 10,000 hectares.

“We have impacted over 300,000 smallholder farmers and have so much that we have given and so much that we still want to do and all these is across the 36 states and the FCT,” she said.

The board director urged the public to ensure that they maintain and create a sustainable world and planet as well as be the catalyst that would drive the change.

“It is with great honour, this is my second year of joining you on this walk, we went through this route last year.

“It is a good form to exercise, it is good to reconnect and to show to the world and Lagos State that life is important; farmers are important and without farmers there is no food.

“I love the theme for this year; water gives life, without water we can’t survive. Water is at the centre of everything that we do.

“I join my voice with the commissioner in saying that in the world that we are now, where we are looking at how we can impact the environment in a more sustainable manner,” she said.

Erewa-Meggison said people should be conscious of how they use water, live their lives, treat each other and how they prepare for the future and generation yet to come.

She said the tobacco company was proud to work with the state government because it had shown that it cares. (NAN)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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